Walking down South 3rd in old downtown Renton Tuesday evening. I’m packing a bag full of fresh produce. Green onions and garlic, peppers, some rhubarb and lettuce, and a couple pints of raspberries. I’m on my way to my truck and heading home after the Farmers Market when I feel Grandpa’s smile.
I know he’d be happy I stopped for some real home grown produce and that triggers a scene in my mind’s eye that has played itself many times over the years. I’m a kid standing with my Grandpa by the water spigot in the backyard next to the garden. He kneels to prune and wash his fresh picked bounty and carefully packs the doubled paper shopping bag.
He loves these blessings from the dirt and holds them with care and admiration. He looks up and his face is lit with a gentle smile under his old straw hat. I see a twinkle in his eyes, even through his horn rimmed glasses.
“These are for your mom.” He knows she’ll be delighted and the phone will ring in about 30 minutes. “Now be careful going home. Can you manage?” Yes, Grandpa, I’ll make it okay. “Alright my boy. We’ll see you soon.” And off I go, my bike fully loaded, for home.
I jump in my truck and roll down the windows, it’s a beautiful summer evening. I’ve heard it said you’ll live forever, if you’re not forgotten. I’m thinking that's probably true in this case, remembering Grandpa’s smile.